The pool party is a thing of the past…
Hosting a birthday party in the heat of summer can be stressful and sweat-inducing—in more ways than one. Weeks of preparation inevitably end with a hot, dripping day full of the same old party games, cake, and sugar over-dosed kids. Break free from the same old backyard parties and become the coolest parents in the neighborhood with these creative kids’ party themes:
Ice Cream Social
Ice cream is the quintessential summertime treat. Theme your child’s birthday party around this dreamy dessert, offer frozen yogurt for your dairy and lactose intolerant guests, and open up an ice cream bar stocked with sprinkles, sauces, and sugar cones so everyone can choose their own yummy toppings. Eat your heart out, Pinkberry!
For a creative take on the traditional pool party, why not throw a water party for your child and her friends? Break out the inflatable pool, squirt guns, and maybe even the slip ‘n’ slide. Set up water balloon and sponge bomb stations for impromptu or organized party games. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!) Make sure to have plenty of towels on hand—because you are all sure to be soaking wet by the end of the day.
The great British tradition of afternoon tea isn’t just for old ladies and the cast of Downton Abbey. Set up a fancy tea party for your little guests—complete with delicate china cups, finger sandwiches, and miniature cakes. Have the kids bring their favorite stuffed animals for a teddy bear picnic twist, or set up a child sized croquet game in the backyard. Set a formal but playful dress code so your little Dukes and Duchesses can really get into the tea party spirit.
Nothing says summer like an evening spent around a fire pit, roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories, and camping under the stars. Ask guests to bring their own tents and sleeping bags so you can have an authentic camping experience. Make your backyard camp out less stressful by inviting parents too, and you can all enjoy the great outdoors together.
No one can resist a carnival. Theme your party around traditional fair games such as ring toss, coconut shy, and a dunk tank, if you’re very brave. Have hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy stalls to complete the effect, and ask a talented friend to dress as a clown to make balloon animals and entertain the kids in between games.
Celebrate your child’s cumpleaños in true South of the Border style with a Mexican themed party. Load up your iPod with some traditional mariachi music to get the party started. Serve Mexican favorites such as tacos, tortilla chips, and a dulce de leche cake. Hang a piñata from a tree branch, and you have an instant party. Don’t forget the traditional grown-up Mexican beverages; other parents will thank you!
Outdoor Movie Theater
If you know someone even remotely technologically inclined, then this theme should be a breeze. Hang a sheet on a fence or between some tree branches, set up a projector, and invite your child’s friends to a one of a kind movie theater experience in your backyard. Serve up popcorn, pick ‘n’ mix style candy, and Slushies, and seat your guests in makeshift cinema rows with cushions and blankets. Show the latest Pixar blockbuster—or even better—your child’s favorite movie, and you have a winner!
The next time you’re struggling to plan a birthday party for your kids, try one of these themes. It only takes a little creativity and some clever planning to make your little one’s special day truly memorable, so break free from the norm and vow never to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey again.
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.